Thursday, 29 December 2011

Best and Worst of 2011

So I've only been doing this blog for less than 2 months.. but it's the end of the year so I decided to give the best and worst of what I experienced while blogging the dining experiences of Fort McMurray.

                                                                        The Best thing I ate:
                                                          Clubhouse with Poutine at Table 63
I don't know if it was the overwhelming positive changes the restaurant made with it's renovations but when I dined at Table 63 I was impressed with not only the new decor but also this Clubhouse with Beer Battered Fries Poutine. The sandwich was one of the best clubhouses I have ever eaten in my 29 years of living.  The poutine was amazing. I do have to say this though, I went back and had the clubhouse since I did the blog and it wasn't nearly as good as the first time I had it there. I don't know if it was a different cook or maybe I wasn't as hungry as I was then but it was lacking.. something. I would still recommend trying your luck on it. I'm probably going to try one more time to ensure if it's the real deal or I just lucked out one time.

                                               What I ate 10-20 times in the past 2 months:
                                                         Wor Won Ton at Frontier Dining
I know this probably isn't the greatest bowl of wor won ton soup known to man. But it certainly is the best bowl of wor won ton known to me. And since I am famous (Fort McMurray Today did a profile on me.. yes I will be doing an autograph session at the next restaurant I am attending) that counts for something. Remember, add hot sauce to it to make this great dish even more amazing.

                                                                      Worst thing I ate:
                                                        Firecracker Stirfry from Wok Box

This was a horrible horrible dish. If you can't continue eating and then go to a Mcdonald's to get something thats BETTER than what you just ate, then there's your review right there. Wok Box tries to give you something unique and always comes up short and bland. Avoid at all costs

Best Service in Fort McMurray:
I've drank and dined at this bar on numerous occasions and not only has the food been great (best thing I've had so far would be the Longshots Burger) but the service has always been amazing here. Friendly staff, very fun atmosphere, and just the ideal place to go out, have great pub food and have a few cold ones with your friends. I always know I'm going to have a good time if I know I am going to Longshots. My only recommendation is this: If you're going to try Poutine Wings or the Hot Chocolate Wings just remember just because you like them all separate, combined isn't always going to equal the same response. 

I think that's going to wrap up my Best and Worst of 2011. Check back into 2012 where I will be experiencing other locales in Fort McMurray. Please leave a comment and suggest on places I should try out. 

Remember, Be well, and eat even better.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mucho Burrito

I decided to check out Mucho Burrito today for lunch.
It's located down in the same area as Wok Box and Source Adult.

This is the newest restaurant/fast food in town. This is a franchise that has locations in Canada, the United States and other countries over the world.

As you can tell by the name of the franchise this is based around Mexican cuisine. Now I know we have a taco bell (which is the worst) and we also have a taco time (which is almost as bad as taco bell) so it's nice to see a place that boasts fresh daily salsas and other fresh ingredients.

At 1pm this place was pretty busy, there was a line up of about 8 people ahead of us. I'm trying to figure out if it's busy because it's new of if it's busy because of the food. The people working the counter were polite, quick and friendly. This is something I haven't seen in a fast food place in a long time. With the 8 people ahead of us it didn't take too long for me to place my order. I got a Burrito. Yeah I know.. real original. I had rice and vegetables and I could have had beans, and then for your protein your options are sausage, steak, chicken, some sort of fish. I went with the chicken. Now for salsa (WHICH IS FRESH!) I had a corn based salsa with some hot salsa thrown in. Add some cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, jalapenos and BOOM you got yourself lunch baby.

For 12 dollars I had this burrito and a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. Now I need to say Guacamole is an extra dollar but it's worth it. So much flavour, heat, and freshness in this meal.

The service was quick, the place was clean, the food is great. It's worth more than you'd pay at McDonald's and is there any other fast food place in town boasting fresh?

Check this place out I highly recommend it. I only hope that this place continues to stay busy and doesn't lose customers as it becomes part of the Fort McMurray foodsphere.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Islander - December 14th

I decided to check out the Islander today for lunch.
The Islander is located up in Gregoire in the same group of buildings that The Experts (formerly Pizza Experts) and Frontier Dining are located in.

And as you can see they have a lunch buffet. Now I had a hard time deciding if I should do a blog on chinese buffet food. I asked several of my coworkers who more or less pointed out that buffet food isn't the best food that a place would offer. This is very true. You can't argue buffet food would be on the same page as their regular menu, the food is out under heat lamps, being mauled by every hungry customer who wants just a little bit more, just a little bit more.  It was actually my brother @daveenwood who said that the point of the blog is to suggest food, so in this case, would I suggest the buffet from The Islander? It was with this sense of understanding what this blog is capable of that I decided that yes, I will try the buffet.

Now if you've never been to the Islander, you'll be almost confused by the decor as the decor in Frontier Dining.. I totally get it's Christmas, and there are lights and what not for being festive, but they also have a huge TV on the end of the bar area with sports on it. Today was Tennis. Now I don't know about you or your Aunt June, but whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant I'm not going to catch up on the latest tennis match. Also green? Is it needed? No. I don't ever envision the person who was moving into this location to pick this decor as the best way to exemplify their vision.

This place was much busier than I anticipated but I am assuming with a buffet most places are busier than they deserve to be. The service was surprisingly not bad considering it was one person manning the whole front end. Some places (frontier dining) could really learn from this. I am not saying tending to patrons is an easy task but it seems like this guy actually puts in an effort and I commend him for it.

Okay anyways, to the food!
It was a fairly typical Chinese layout for a buffet. There was a few soups, about 12 hot dishes and a small selection of desserts. The food was pretty good considering it was a buffet, and the only real complaint I had was the rice was crunchy at times. I don't know if it was because it was over cooked or under cooked. I am not a rice wizard who can magically make rice so I don't know how it's made I can only assume it wasn't cooked to the right level of awesomeness. Can you honestly go wrong with deep fried food? Well in a healthy eating situation yeah but.. still..  One thing that was curiously not on the buffet spread was Chicken balls. I'm not a fan of chicken balls so it wasn't something I was going to frown about but it's still kinda odd. They push chicken balls in every other Chinese place.. but not here I guess.

The highlights on the buffet was the sweet and sour chicken stuff. I would also like to note that the desserts were more or less store bought. This is understandable as well seeing that I've never heard of a Chinese Restaurant specializing in desserts. But guess what, Seriously guess! I'll wait.. Nope you were wrong. They had lime jello! I rocked out on that stuff. Speaking of rocking out. They had quite the eclectic mix playing. Chinese music, and Billy Joel? Don't mind if I do.

When it comes down to it, the food wasn't bad, the place looks pretty messed up they were missing some  classic western Chinese staples and they ruined the rice.. I would recommend this place regardless of these mishaps. The price wasn't bad either.

So check it out or don't. I'm on the fence with this experience. I wish I was more decisive. Would I go back again? Yeah probably but it'll be a long long time until I do that again.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Aurora Bar & Grill - Dec 6

Today I was meeting up with an old co worker for lunch, he suggested to go to the Aurora Bar & Grill and since I haven't reviewed there yet it made sense to go check it out.

The restaurant is located at the  Radisson hotel up in Gregoire. It's across the street from the Mcdonald's and beside the United Furniture. Like most places in this great great city of Fort McMurray, parking isn't always the best but there is plenty of parking along the sides or in the back.

The place isn't the most well lit and while the decor is tasteful it's also fairly bland. There isn't anything that really draws your eyes except for maybe the stained glass but even that seems a little drab.
Mind you from the picture that they use on their website it looks a lot better than how I took it.
Mind you I don't think they had this much lighting on the go or that they were trying to make the place look elegant today when I walked in.

The service wasn't bad, but that could have depended on the fact that we were one of the only two tables that had people there at 1pm. I'm going to assume that this place doesn't get too busy at all, but that's an assumption. I've been there once on a friday and I think they have a fish special and there was more people there but that was also about 5 months ago so what do I know? I suppose I could have asked how busy they got but I am shy goddamnit. 

I decided on copying Josh and got the Angus Burger with fries and gravy. 

Now I wouldn't expect a restaurant in a hotel to make their own patties and obviously I was correct in this assumption. I'm always iffy on ordering a burger. When it's freshly made juicy is awesome. When it's frozen, juicy doesn't really work. The texture doesn't really come together and it becomes fairly unappealing if you're paying attention to what you're eating. The fries were okay, but honestly it's pretty much impossible to screw up fries. The gravy is run of the mill. Nothing in this meal was over all appealing, although it wasn't horrible either. Just like the decor, it works but nothing really stands out.

To sum up the experience I had at Aurora Bar & Grill, the place isn't memorable. I seriously had to google to get the actual name right and I had to text Josh to find out what we ordered. I know I can be forgetful but I think if anything really stood out I would have remembered something.

Sidenote: This place used to be Fog and Suds, which was one of the first places in town that offered the Tower of beer. They also had beer from all over the world, it was kinda a neat idea. Obviously it didn't work out though and now we are left with a very bland restaurant in it's place. And I wondered if this place ever got busy? I think I figured out my own question.